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Topic: A little insight on "borrowing" routines?
Message: Posted by: Head Case (Dec 8, 2010 03:10PM)
A buddy and I were discussing this topic the other day about "borrowing" ideas from other magicians routines. 90% of all the magic you know whether it be sleights, patter, routines, were all developed or created by someone else, then published in books, videos, magazines etc. So, lets say you wanted to make a stand up comedy act. And you wanted to take ideas from other magicians routines. (The Amazing Jonathan's Hand is quicker than the eye gag, or his Linking rings, these ones are already linked so we can move on with that. Or Michael Finney's card on forehead routine.) This is considered wrong to use other magicians patter, routine, or effects. My buddy says that as long as your not making an instructional video of someone elses work (without their permission), it's completely fine to use others ideas for his own routine.

This was being talked about while I was trying to help him come up with a comedy stand up act. Neither one of us are too good at making comedy bits. So we started watching other magicians routines to get some inspiration, and that's how the topic came up, from him saying, "Why don't I just do this whole bit?" (referring to Michael Finney's card on forehead routine.

We already had a few drinks, so obviously the discussion turned to more of an argument. So that's why I'm here to see what others think about the topic.

So feel free to leave some input.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Dec 8, 2010 03:26PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:10, DCMagicEnt wrote:
This is considered wrong to use other magicians patter, routine, or effects. My buddy says that as long as your not making an instructional video of someone elses work (without their permission), Its completely fine to use others ideas for his own routine.[/quote]
My opinion is that your buddy is dead wrong. If it's in print or on an instructional video, it should be fair game unless there's a specific statement reserving performance rights-- Bruce Cervon and Michael Weber have taken this approach with their books "LifeSavers" and "Ultra Cervon". Jokes and lines are an integrel part of the act and should not be considered trivial enough to appropriate. There are, of course, jokes/lines that have been used in various form by many magicians and those are boderline cases for me.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Dec 8, 2010 03:36PM)
Surely performing rights is a nonsense...if this is the case, why publish???
Message: Posted by: Head Case (Dec 8, 2010 03:47PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:36, Adam1975 wrote:
Surely performing rights is a nonsense....if this is the case,why publish???
[/quote]

The material being published or not is besides the point...

Here is an example.

So your saying that if I were to do... lets say..., David Copperfield entire duck routine at my local playhouse for a paid gig.

That would be completely OK? I mean after all, it's not like he is ever going to get mad at me for doing his routine at my local playhouse. It's not like he is every going to book a $300-500 gig there anyway. Right?


Or lets say I do all of Michael Finney's card on forehead routine at my local comedy open mic dive bar. - Would this situation be OK in your eyes?

You agree with this???
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Dec 8, 2010 03:56PM)
But if said performers published there material, surely you have paid to use it,your not ripping them off, like I say, why publish ? Am I missing something here?! Seems like common sense to me!
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Dec 8, 2010 03:59PM)
Material Published is the point.
Performance rights, seem something these guys made up when they wanted to make money on their routines without letting anyone use their presentations.

Performing styles is just something that other magicians will care about. If you don't want magicians being mad at you, create your own presentation. If not, you can do whatever you want.
Message: Posted by: Head Case (Dec 8, 2010 04:08PM)
Haha I was in hope to get some reply's that I could use to convince him to create his own routine, not just copy someone elses. I don't think ill be sending him the link to this thread. lol

Thank you for your input though. :) - didn't want to start a flame war or anything. And didn't mean to call anyone out.

Cheers.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Dec 8, 2010 04:11PM)
I remember a Ricky Jay story about this topic. I think it's instructive.
---
Many years ago, Jay had an encounter there [at the Magic Castle] that he describes as typical.

"A guy comes up and starts telling me he's a fan," he recalls. "I say thank you, that's nice to hear. He says he used to see me perform in Boulder, Colorado. That's nice, too, I say. Then he starts talking about this wonderful piece I did with a mechanical monkey-really one of the most bizarre routines I ever worked out-and I thank him, and he says, `Yeah, I get a tremendous response when I do that. Audiences just love it.' And I say, `Let me ask you something. Suppose I invite you over to my house for dinner. We have a pleasant meal, we talk about magic, it's an enjoyable evening. Then, as you're about to leave, you walk into my living room and you pick up my television and walk out with it. You steal my television set. Would you do that?' He says, `Of course not.' And I say, `But you already did.' He says, `What are you talking about?' I say, `You stole my television!' He says, `How can you say that? I've never even been to your house.' This guy doesn't even know what a metaphor is. People ask me why I don't do lectures at magic conventions, and I say, `Because I'm still learning.' Meanwhile, you've got people who have been doing magic for ten months and they are actually out there pontificating. It's absurd."
---
(From "Secrets of the Magus" by Mark Singer, published in [i]New Yorker[/i] magazine. If you're interested, you can find the rest of this excellent article online.)
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Dec 8, 2010 04:31PM)
Unfortunately there is often a big difference between what is ethical and what is legal. Let me give you an example.

If I look exactly like Barry Fernelius and decide I want to duplicate his entire act, I can do so as long as I bill myself as "Harry Dinopolis". The legal test here is the same one that the Supreme Court used in a case started by Charlie Chaplin. As long as I am not purposely deceiving the public into believing I am Barry Fernelius, it is legal. By the fact that I've billed myself as a different person, this shows a lack of determination to deceive the public.

So although it's not *ethical*, it's still legal in the United States.

In a recent case regarding Bette Midler, an advertising company was found liable for using an artist that sounded exactly like Bette Midler-- [b]however[/b] -- there was a large amount of evidence that demonstrated it was the intent of the advertising company to make people think the artist was Bette Midler (documents, emails, witnesses, etc.)

Currently in the United States, there are only three options for protecting intellectual property: Copyright, Registered Trademarks & Patent. So unless something is protected under one or more of those means, it is legal to use in your own act. Legal, [b]but not ethical[/b]. I do not know the implications of using bits, jokes, etc., from printed material or videos. Although they may be copyrighted they are obviously intended to instruct... If memory serves me correctly, I remember an attempt to copyright a Sleight of Hand Sequence as a Choreography but I don't know if it was successful or not.

I am not a lawyer so please do not consider this legal advice. I actually clerked in a Law Office when I was just starting out in magic and had the time to research this stuff.

As to performance rights, regardless of what you think the fact is that if a person originates material then he sets the rules for it's use. Period. To me, that's not only ethical, it's also fair. This, or course, is from an ethical viewpoint, not a legal one.

SEY

P.S. All of the above refers to what is legal in the United States, not any other country.

[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:56, Adam1975 wrote:
But if said performers published there material,surely you have paid to use it,your not ripping them off,like I say,why publish ? Am I missing something here ?! Seems like common sense to me![/quote]

The way magic works, if you show a routine/trick to just a few magicians, it's only a matter of time before a lot of people are doing it in their shows. Not to mention people making minor changes and publishing it under their own name.

Publishing but restricting performance rights allows a very strong record of credit to the originator. In the case of Michael Weber, he only restricted "paid" performances. Cervon's was a bit more restrictive but basically the same.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 8, 2010 07:02PM)
From what I have read of late, it is open season on everything that is not nailed down legally. I have heard often that (1) there are no secrets, (2) exposure is the hobgoblin of little minds, and (3) there is nothing anyone can do about it...
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Dec 8, 2010 07:47PM)
This is yet another reason why it's good to have a written script for one's performance pieces. Unlike so much of what makes up TTWD, our scripts [b]can[/b] be copyrighted. So while we may not be able to keep anyone from performing "our" tricks (assuming we have a legitimate creation/ownership claim to them, which for most of us is not the case), we can legally prevent them from misappropriating our presentations.

I make it a point to copyright all of my scripts. It's a simple and relatively inexpensive process, and it can even be done on line.

http://www.copyright.gov/
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 8, 2010 08:20PM)
I think it is all for naught, ethics in Magic? :lol:

They will do whatever they please. They have and always will. (Whoever "they" may be...)

I wish it wasn't so, but wishing doesn't make it so.

So... I just keep on keeping on.

The cream rises to the top right?

At least that's what they tell me.

:online:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 8, 2010 08:35PM)
Magic is the land of do-as-you-please.
I hope folks understand that the law of threefold returns works in magic
And that magic tends to attract those who have very long memories.
Message: Posted by: JasonEngland (Dec 8, 2010 09:58PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:56, Adam1975 wrote:
But if said performers published there material, surely you have paid to use it,your not ripping them off, like I say, why publish ? Am I missing something here?! Seems like common sense to me!
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:59, Will-Ace wrote:
Performance rights, seem something these guys made up when they wanted to make money on their routines without letting anyone use their presentations.
[/quote]


Will - Ace and Adam,

The two of you clearly have no idea what was actually written in (and therefore reserved in) the copyright notices of Bruce's [i]Ultra Cervon[/i] or Michael's [i]Lifesavers[/i].

There is an all-too-common misperception in magic that these men essentially said, "You can only read these tricks, you can't actually do them" in their respective copyright notices. Both of you seem to have fallen into this misconception too, whether you've read the actual notices or not.

Let me clear the air for you.

Cervon's notice makes it plain that all he's reserving is television rights (don't do his material on t.v. without his permission), video tape (don't put out a video of you doing his stuff), lecture (don't teach material that isn't yours) and first person performance rights (if you and Bruce share the same bill - unlikely at this point - then Bruce gets to do his own stuff before you do).

That's all that he reserved. In other words, 99% of all the performances that you'll likely have are NOT affected by his copyright notice. You can use them for friends, you can use them at your local magic club, and you can use them for any and all paid performances with the above restrictions.

That's a fairly reasonable stance in my opinion, especially considering that Bruce was a professional performer still very active in his local markets when [i]Ultra Cervon[/i] was originally published. He wanted to share his material, but didn't want to have to deal with the above issues, so he held them in reserve. Of course, now that he's gone, you don't have to worry about first person performance rights, but you should still respect the wishes of Linda Cervon (his wife) and get permission before teaching one of Bruce's tricks in a lecture or videotape, and in my opinion, to be safe, before performing anything out of the book on television.

Now let's look at Weber's copyright notice.

Some similar things here: Don't perform the material from [i]Lifesavers[/i] on television or film, (or radio -- good luck), or on stage or theater settings. Well, again, there goes about 0.01 % of magicians' performance venues that have been affected. The other 99.9% are fine. He closes with this:

"You are hereby granted full permission to perform any and all of these routines with or without the accompanying patter and or presentation anywhere on this planet and in the universe (Jason's note: that last part was for Richard Garriott), twenty-four hours a day, for whomever you please in any improvisational setting."

Guess what? That basically means you can do the material virtually anywhere, at any time, as long as you're not in a real theater or on television. Pretty restrictive of that Weber fellow, huh?

Of course, none of this takes into consideration the fact that both Bruce and Michael simply wanted people to [i]ask[/i] for permission before doing any of their material outside of the explicitly granted performance rights. Maybe they'll say yes, maybe they'll say no, but reserving that microscopic segment of performing situations isn't too much to ask in my opinion.

The bigger lesson here is, don't denigrate or dismiss things you obviously don't understand.

Jason
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Dec 9, 2010 04:00PM)
I guess I don't understand WHY this guy's friend would want to just take someone else's bit and do it? Aren't we in this because we want to be creative and original? And if not, shouldn't the fear of being found out (i.e. an audience member saying they saw someone else do the same bit) be enough to stop someone from doing this? I know that laughs and reactions are great, but it sure is lame to do it at the expense of taking someone's material. Ricky Jay's point is a good one.

There are some exceptions, like Tom Mullica doing Red Skelton's bits, but that's the whole point of his show. He knew Red, and got permission from his wife to do the show as a tribute to him. However, if your goal is to just go on stage and do another person's stuff verbatim, then you've let someone else do all the work, and more often than not, you're not doing it justice the way the originator does.

I once was working a comedy club in Seattle and we saw a ten-year old kid go on stage and do material from Jerry Seinfeld's DVD word-for-word, action-for-action. Observational stuff that no ten-year old would ever legitimately do. It was ridiculous. You don't learn to be a comic by stealing material, and I would say the same thing about magic. Learn routines and sleights, study performers, read, watch DVDs...but make the material your own. There's nothing wrong with starting off imitating what you've learned, but I think that should only be used as a foundation, rather than your actual performance. Write your own patter and cater the routine to what YOU would do.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Dec 9, 2010 04:53PM)
Ethics are the basic rules of proper behavior accepted by a group. I have no idea what most magicians, especially today, think is ethical. That is why I don't feel the kinship with magicians I once felt. Today, they don't all share the same values. I don't consider myself a part of that group.

But the magicians I hang with are all very clear about what is proper behavior.

Anyone who violates what we believe is right and fair will not be hanging with me or my friends. Steven is one of my friends.

I think that is what the older magicians are saying. There is nothing to argue about. You can do whatever you want. If you want to join the society of magicians who believe in the ethical rules that have guided magic for many years, you have to be willing to follow the rules of the group. There is no reason why we should have to change our rules to let people in. If you don't care about associating with us, there is nothing I can do to make you follow our rules.

You want to hang with the professionals and responsible amateurs, you will need to share our manners. Otherwise, we don't really want you around.

Sound exclusive? I certainly hope so...
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Dec 9, 2010 05:03PM)
I must say, I've had the pleasure of having lunch at the castle with folks like Pete Biro and Whit at the table, and that's not an opportunity I would ever give up for the sake of a few good reactions I might get from stolen material.
When you're in the company of folks like that, you don't need to steal anything. Just sit, listen, and learn. It's the kind of knowledge you won't get anywhere else.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 10, 2010 08:14AM)
Lord, I feel like I've just come home!
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 10, 2010 12:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-09 17:00, Andrewzuber wrote:
Aren't we in this because we want to be creative and original?
[/quote]

Ah, if only that were true. The fact of the matter is that while that may be what the serious working pros strive for, they comprise but a tiny minority of the magic community. The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists who don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality. They are often the ones who can't sing, dance, play the piano or tell jokes but nevertheless would like to be the center of attention and life of the party so they believe the ads in the magic magazine that proudly proclaim the three most dangerous words in magic "no skill required."
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Dec 10, 2010 10:44PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:47, DCMagicEnt wrote:
Or lets say I do all of Michael Finney's card on forehead routine at my local comedy open mic dive bar. - Would this situation be OK in your eyes?

You agree with this???
[/quote]One of the major differences here is that if you were to swipe a working comedian's bits you'd probably booed off the stage by a knowledgeable crowd, blackballed from the comedy circuit and possibly beaten up by the comedian or a few of his friends...
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 11, 2010 10:11AM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-08 16:10, DCMagicEnt wrote:
Neither one of us are too good at making comedy bits.
[/quote]

Then he is unlikely to be able to pull off a comedy routine. If he can't write comedy, why not stick to what he is good at?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 11, 2010 05:34PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-10 13:28, Dick Christian wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-12-09 17:00, Andrewzuber wrote:
Aren't we in this because we want to be creative and original?
[/quote]

Ah, if only that were true. The fact of the matter is that while that may be what the serious working pros strive for, they comprise but a tiny minority of the magic community. The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists who don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality. They are often the ones who can't sing, dance, play the piano or tell jokes but nevertheless would like to be the center of attention and life of the party so they believe the ads in the magic magazine that proudly proclaim the three most dangerous words in magic "no skill required."
[/quote]

As someone who could not be considered a "serious working pro" I am offended by this global paint job. I am (or was) proud to be a "member" of the magic "fraternity". Although I have built a successful career on the creator's gifts to me of creativity and originality, it has not been in the area of traditional magic, as I came to that later in life. One thing I know for sure and for certain, I have never stolen the work of another magician. Another is that I can hold my own with anyone in the area of rope magic, skill required.

So, why do organizations like SAM or the Magic Castle take our membership, just for the bucks? What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of "serious working pros"? Is a "serious" amateur better than a not-serious working pro?

Another thing I know from a life of many experiences, in any group of substantial size, ANY, you will find the good, bad, ugly, cheats, users, samaritans, saints, smart, clever, etc. etc. etc. By my definition this even includes "serious working pros".

I know some great amateur magicians,, and I object to them being degraded in this way.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 12, 2010 10:22AM)
[quote]


As someone who could not be considered a "serious working pro" I am offended by this global paint job. I am (or was) proud to be a "member" of the magic "fraternity". Although I have built a successful career on the creator's gifts to me of creativity and originality, it has not been in the area of traditional magic, as I came to that later in life. One thing I know for sure and for certain, I have never stolen the work of another magician. Another is that I can hold my own with anyone in the area of rope magic, skill required.

So, why do organizations like SAM or the Magic Castle take our membership, just for the bucks? What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of "serious working pros"? Is a "serious" amateur better than a not-serious working pro?

Another thing I know from a life of many experiences, in any group of substantial size, ANY, you will find the good, bad, ugly, cheats, users, samaritans, saints, smart, clever, etc. etc. etc. By my definition this even includes "serious working pros".

I know some great amateur magicians,, and I object to them being degraded in this way.

Jim
[/quote]

Magicians and scuba divers. The 2 most elitist groups I have come across. Where people who consider themselves members of the old school look down from their ivory towers with dismay, condescension and distrust. "You were not hand picked by me to be part of this group! You have no right to be here."

Fortunately it would seem that despite how vocal they are, they are not in the majority. As most of the magicians I have met are enthusiastic and keen about the next generation, not bitter about them.

Jack.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 12, 2010 11:02AM)
Jack, I don't know how it is in scuba diving but I do know a little about this craft/art and have some experience with other arts/crafts. - so while this next has to be IMHO - it's a fairly well informed opinion.

There are those who see something and want to [b]do what they saw done[/b] - whose source of inspiration is not the artist but the artist's work, and there are those who see something and [b]want to use that idea or prop or production design notion in some work of their own conception[/b] - who take direction from the muses and inspiration and cues from fellow artists/craftsmen.

I prefer to discuss means and themes with members of the latter group- those who take direction from the muses - where I am simply helping them realize their own vision of what might be done in this craft. Those who wish to imitate and 'tribute' living artists without the direct support and consent of the artist seem creepy to me. Those who wish to offer tribute to past artists by channeling them before audiences who never saw or heard of the artist in question also leave me feeling uncomfortable. That goes as far as even the "history channel" approach to presenting tricks. I really don't care if it's a time honored trick or routine - unless you can make it play as meaningful to them, the audience, in the present tense and circumstance - I feel it's awkward.

Once upon a time I was a judge at a magic competition. I favored the person who used a squeeker in his sponge ball routine over the one who was able to competently perform both 'two shufles harry' and 'the hanging coins' which only hit print a few weeks before - and took issue with my peer judges who wanted to award the latter with points for originality.

That in mind - IMHO - those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome. To be blunt I see the latter as cash cows for the lowest commercial side of the market for goods in this craft.

So is that elitist? Not IMHO. Is that ageist? Again, not even a factor IMHO. To be blunt - quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft so they can see what options are available to explore, and hopefully do so before they believe someone who tells them to start worshiping the classics before they get to find out why and how a trick works for audiences and what practical and logistical matters have made it a classic.

Kapish?
Message: Posted by: Hawkan (Dec 13, 2010 02:12PM)
YouŽre only fooling yourself if you copy someone else, be it a whole routine or a joke, thinking youŽll be as good, funny and clever. The more you create and put YOU into, the better you will feel. DonŽt be an intellectual dwarf. DonŽt be lazy.

Hawkan
:wavey:
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 13, 2010 08:23PM)
Well said and true, Hawkan...
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 13, 2010 08:36PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-12 12:02, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Jack, I don't know how it is in scuba diving but I do know a little about this craft/art and have some experience with other arts/crafts. - so while this next has to be IMHO - it's a fairly well informed opinion.

There are those who see something and want to [b]do what they saw done[/b] - whose source of inspiration is not the artist but the artist's work, and there are those who see something and [b]want to use that idea or prop or production design notion in some work of their own conception[/b] - who take direction from the muses and inspiration and cues from fellow artists/craftsmen.

I prefer to discuss means and themes with members of the latter group- those who take direction from the muses - where I am simply helping them realize their own vision of what might be done in this craft. Those who wish to imitate and 'tribute' living artists without the direct support and consent of the artist seem creepy to me. Those who wish to offer tribute to past artists by channeling them before audiences who never saw or heard of the artist in question also leave me feeling uncomfortable. That goes as far as even the "history channel" approach to presenting tricks. I really don't care if it's a time honored trick or routine - unless you can make it play as meaningful to them, the audience, in the present tense and circumstance - I feel it's awkward.

Once upon a time I was a judge at a magic competition. I favored the person who used a squeeker in his sponge ball routine over the one who was able to competently perform both 'two shufles harry' and 'the hanging coins' which only hit print a few weeks before - and took issue with my peer judges who wanted to award the latter with points for originality.

That in mind - IMHO - those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome. To be blunt I see the latter as cash cows for the lowest commercial side of the market for goods in this craft.

So is that elitist? Not IMHO. Is that ageist? Again, not even a factor IMHO. To be blunt - quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft so they can see what options are available to explore, and hopefully do so before they believe someone who tells them to start worshiping the classics before they get to find out why and how a trick works for audiences and what practical and logistical matters have made it a classic.

Kapish?
[/quote]

First of all I take issue with the tone of your comment. It is sarcastic and not necessary. Kapish?

Second..

"[i]those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome[/i]"

This is exactly what I was talking about. You hand pick those who are worthy, not only of your own support, but you take it upon yourself to speak for the entire magic community. What you think "advances the craft" may not be to everyone's taste, and those you think seek only to "offer imitation" may be doing something your missing, or just don't much like, but other audiences do, and other magicians can get excited about.
So is your HO you have expressed here elitist, in my honest opinion, yes. Is it ageist? Well I never mentioned age in my first comment so I don't see why you bring it up Mr. Townsend. If your referring to the "old school" comment, I was talking about a certain mentality, not anyone's actual age. But since you asked the question, and since you wrote "[i]quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft[/i]" I will say, in my honest opinion, yes, I think your comments are ageist, otherwise you would only have said "new to the craft". Give those who are young a chance to spread their wings a little before you condemn them. They have only just walked through the door of the magic shop, they need a chance to feel their way around, to learn the rights and wrongs and sense of ethics and integrity. Guide them, don't immediately hound them about their ethical codes.

And just a reminder, be more careful about the way you word your messages. We can disagree and discuss things perfectly reasonably without being rude to one another. Wakarimasuka?
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 13, 2010 08:41PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-13 15:12, Hawkan wrote:
YouŽre only fooling yourself if you copy someone else, be it a whole routine or a joke, thinking youŽll be as good, funny and clever. The more you create and put YOU into, the better you will feel. DonŽt be an intellectual dwarf. DonŽt be lazy.

Hawkan
:wavey:
[/quote]

This is a much better way of expressing what I was trying to convey in an earlier post. I agree entirely.
.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 13, 2010 08:47PM)
Sorry, you lost credibility with the projection of sarcasm. The rest of the issues are your own as well. Did someone hold back some secret from you like the way the way the NYC folks held back how HPC worked from Slydini for a while?

You have an issue about whether I choose not to enable copyists - to be complicit in their diminishing the work of others? I have to choose whether or not to give away anyone else's work - especially if it's not in print.

It's not my job to guide anyone unless they ask for guidance.

Old school? Like I ask anyone to tell me their working translation of the Emerald Tablet? Right, you either get that joke or don't. My guess is you don't.

Yes Jack, I drop things into posts for innocent eyes, before they get contaminated by [i]no the clean hand, it's a standard trick... or don't forget to point[/i] - that stuff. IMHO if they read primary sources before what's offered on sale today they might find their way more easily later. Lots of goodies in the old books.

Do you have any published works I might look up Jack? What I've read of you here does not leave me with a good feeling about your attitude. Maybe your online expression appears borderline hostile to me today but your works would show me a person with whom I'd like to discuss magic? I was thinking you were a Wimshust proxy but Andrew usually does not give advice unless requested - and his advice is often sage.

My French is bad enough - won't try to speak any Japanese - well perhaps very slowly. :) I wonder how it goes over with an Australian accent.

Posted: Dec 13, 2010 10:36pm
Aha, I forgot to directly address a thesis - and common presupposition Jack referenced above.

IMHO if you want to learn about magic - the LAST place to go is a magic shop.

When/if you want to get the tools readymade to go out and perform magic - walk on in and enjoy the fun while there.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 14, 2010 12:44PM)
Mr. Mystoffelees,

Please read my words again. I wrote:

"The fact of the matter is that while that may be what the serious working pros strive for, they comprise but a tiny minority of the magic community. The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists who don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality. They are often the ones who can't sing, dance, play the piano or tell jokes but nevertheless would like to be the center of attention and life of the party so they believe the ads in the magic magazine that proudly proclaim the three most dangerous words in magic 'no skill required'."

It was not my intention to paint all amateurs or hobbyists with the same brush -- only those who "don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality." While I have met and know a number of dedicated, talented and extremely creative amateurs and hobbyists, many of whom have made significant contributions to the are and some of whom are also accomplished performers in their own right, unfortunately they are vastly outnumbered by those who lack not only creativity and originality but most of the other traits required of an "entertainer" as well.

I have not accused you of stealing the work of another magician, nor am I prepared to challenge your claim that you can hold your own with anyone in the area of rope (or, for that matter, other) magic, skill required. Nor do I disparage those who study and enjoy magic for their own amusement or those who join and attend join clubs like the S.A.M, I.B.M. or Magic Castle (which, of course, are primarily social organizations for those who share a mutual interest in the magical arts and, although they may include many professional performers among their members, should not be mistakenly confused with professional societies).

You ask "What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of 'serious working pros'?" Doesn't the very act of referring to it as a "profession" imply that it IS comprised of 'serious working pros'? It is also possible, as you suggest some "serious" amateurs may have skills surpassing those of some working pros -- even "serious" ones? Nevertheless, I think it would be safe to argue that creativity and originality are traits that are GENERALLY more common among the serious working pros than the typical amateur or hobbyist.

In retrospect, the point I was trying to make would have been clearer if I had written "The overwhelming majority OF amateurs and hobbyists . . ." instead of "The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists . . ."
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 14, 2010 01:41PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-13 21:47, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Sorry, you lost credibility with the projection of sarcasm. The rest of the issues are your own as well. Did someone hold back some secret from you like the way the way the NYC folks held back how HPC worked from Slydini for a while?

You have an issue about whether I choose not to enable copyists - to be complicit in their diminishing the work of others? I have to choose whether or not to give away anyone else's work - especially if it's not in print.

It's not my job to guide anyone unless they ask for guidance.

Old school? Like I ask anyone to tell me their working translation of the Emerald Tablet? Right, you either get that joke or don't. My guess is you don't.

Yes Jack, I drop things into posts for innocent eyes, before they get contaminated by [i]no the clean hand, it's a standard trick... or don't forget to point[/i] - that stuff. IMHO if they read primary sources before what's offered on sale today they might find their way more easily later. Lots of goodies in the old books.

Do you have any published works I might look up Jack? What I've read of you here does not leave me with a good feeling about your attitude. Maybe your online expression appears borderline hostile to me today but your works would show me a person with whom I'd like to discuss magic? I was thinking you were a Wimshust proxy but Andrew usually does not give advice unless requested - and his advice is often sage.

My French is bad enough - won't try to speak any Japanese - well perhaps very slowly. :) I wonder how it goes over with an Australian accent.

Posted: Dec 13, 2010 10:36pm
Aha, I forgot to directly address a thesis - and common presupposition Jack referenced above.

IMHO if you want to learn about magic - the LAST place to go is a magic shop.

When/if you want to get the tools readymade to go out and perform magic - walk on in and enjoy the fun while there.
[/quote]

Thank you for this response. I would dissect it in detail and tell you where you are entirely wrong about your projections of me, and your misinterpretation of the comments I have made. Your opinions are yours to have and since it is clear you are unable or unwilling to engage in reasoned debate I won't attempt to. I do not wish to engage in a slagging competition.

Kind regards,

Jack.

PS. To answer your questions, No I didn't get the joke. I haven't come across the Emerald Tablet before, but it has made for some interesting reading. So thank you for that.
And no, I do not have any published works in magic. The feeling of attitudes is mutual.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 14, 2010 02:40PM)
Dick-

Thank you for your response and explanation. I feel much less cranky now...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 14, 2010 04:34PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-14 15:40, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Dick-

Thank you for your response and explanation. I feel much less cranky now...

Jim
[/quote]

Good, no one wants to see a cranky Santa . . . that IS you in the photo isn't it?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 14, 2010 05:38PM)
Instead of going and borrowing...

There are plenty of routines set in print by living performers which are well worth trying out as written just to find out what works for you and what does not - by way of audience feedback (much easier to get than directors notes I assure you). There are longer routines in print you can trim down to just what works for you and shorter items you can introduce or combine in to a routine when you find the ones people respond in the way you'd like. Between audience feedback and your own selections of effective material you'll be doing your own routines quicker than you might have expected. Sometimes audience members can observe or make suggestions about what they thought you did or were going to do - valuable feedback and perhaps worth searching out options to make happen in your shows as novel routines or even effects.

Another way to learn is to go and see the local performers and watch their sets a few times as occasions permit - and learning to notice what they seem to like about their own routines and what their audiences seem to respond to when they perform. Learning to watch audiences rather than performers is a useful skill when exploring what might work for yourself when you perform.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 14, 2010 08:30PM)
Dick-

Hale, yeah (I am the one that is Santa...)